PDA

View Full Version : Auditory equivalent of aesthetics?


UrbanChic
11-10-2000, 09:28 AM
Simply put, aesthetics is to sight as _________ is to sound. I've had this discussion with a few linguiphiles, but to avail.

pldennison
11-10-2000, 09:33 AM
Why can't "aesthetics" apply equally to auditory input as well as visual? There's nothing in the definition that precludes it.

Barring that, my best guess would be "harmony."

UrbanChic
11-10-2000, 09:40 AM
Hmmmm. Point well taken.

UrbanChic
11-10-2000, 09:49 AM
Hmmmm. Point well taken. That being said, I also like harmony.

The reason I asked is my son is learning to read employing the methods of phonics. He wants to know why the word answer is pronounced the way it is.

scratch1300
11-10-2000, 09:58 AM
Well, I too like pldennison's answer. Another good word IMHO is euphony.

muppetsoup
11-10-2000, 10:14 AM
how about 'acoustics'?

pldennison
11-10-2000, 10:26 AM
I don't think "acoustics" is really appropriate. It refers more to the scientific principles behind sound transmission and propagation, without regard to its qualities.

"Euphony" is a pretty good answer, actually, better than "harmony." Especially in light of what prompted the OP. Although questions of how pronunciations evolve are a bit more complex--I bet that at some point in the past, "answer" was pronounced exactly like it looks, just like "knife."

gigi
11-10-2000, 03:54 PM
Mellifluousness?

Mellifluity would be nice if it were a real word; I vote for euphony as well.

ren
11-10-2000, 04:19 PM
Aesthetics is the philosophical study of what makes things pleasing or beautiful. Nothing in the definition of the word, or its etymology, suggests that it is exclusive to the visual arts. I've certainly heard the term used with respect to music before, i.e., "the aesthetics of punk rock" (if you can believe such a thing).

I don't think you need another word.

The other suggestions are for adjectives that describe sound as pleasing, but do not describe the philosophy and/or study of what makes those sounds pleasing (or not - application of the term "aesthetic" does not necessarily imply a positive experience - maybe that's what they meant about punk rock).

capybara
11-10-2000, 10:51 PM
Pedantry:
If you think about roots, the opposite of aesthetic, per Greek, would be ANaesthetic. So maybe something that is aesthetic simply makes you feel somehow (not necessarily nice-- which is why very icky art is still aesthetic. Aesthetically PLEASING is a different matter).
I like euphony in your context. Has a nice ring to it :)

jb_farley
11-12-2000, 03:46 PM
I second (or third, or fourth) scratch1300's answer: euphony or euphonics

Best Topics: salting sidewalk hm road sign buy propofol standard pool depth cobweb spider web playboy magazine retailers canned chili brands replacing tie rods discount sewing pattern missouri dealer plates shoemaker definition shogun recipe allergic to agave longest running government galvanic lucifer poison for pigeons tammy saris guitar case lock torpedo missile define g2 barry lyndon duel dope hats meaning subpoena plural five-oh ceiling fan dimmer buy human skeleton condom reservoir smoothbore gun doctor vinnie boombatz parasite fetish snl frankenstein dead tank crew ultra tide she was hotter than a two-dollar pistol what does a rolly polly eat what does ss stand for ships what do safe deposit box keys look like acrylic blanket with satin binding monty python gregorian chant make like a jokes how cold is it at 30000 feet can i register a car for someone else what are business days for banks should i let spiders live in my house quilted northern vs charmin awesome d&d campaign ideas paypal cash advance credit card your peach looks gorgeous on the outside, but the inside tastes mealy and bland. what happened? if you're born deaf what language would you think in to whom it may concern options lapd license plate frame kma 367 license plate frame where to buy soybean a fish has a head 9 inches long why is it called a refrigerator can i put gas in a milk jug why does my wife sleep so much why is a mouse when it spins fire twice and go home how to fix a bent rim corporate limits of a city feels like something crawling in my nose how to remove anti theft tag from clothing comcast at best buy who is lenore in the raven and what happened to her